Returns as of 12/11/2021
Returns as of 12/11/2021
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Many businesses have reopened in the wake of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean all employees are back in the office. Hybrid workforces are likely to be a lasting trend. In fact, research company Gartner is projecting that 32% of employees will work remotely at least part-time by the end of 2021, up from 19% in 2019.
Like any change, that trend creates challenges and opportunities. For instance, businesses will benefit from greater flexibility in recruiting talent, but keeping a hybrid workforce in sync won’t be easy. That should provide a tailwind for Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) and Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS), both of which should thrive in a work-from-anywhere world.
Here’s what you should know about these two growth stocks.
Image source: Getty Images.
Salesforce is the gold standard in the customer relationship management (CRM) industry. Its suite of software helps boost productivity across sales, service, marketing, and commerce, giving every department the tools to deliver a great customer experience. And the company has been quite successful. In fact, Salesforce currently holds a 19.5% market share, more than the next four CRM vendors combined. And it’s led the market for eight consecutive years.
Salesforce leans on artificial intelligence to supercharge its software tools. For instance, AI helps sales specialists prioritize leads, it enables service agents to anticipate problems, and it allows marketing and commerce teams to personalize product recommendations. Salesforce also provides low-code development tools that allow clients to build applications and automate workflows.
To say that Salesforce provides useful software would be an understatement. Its platform powers over 150,000 businesses around the world, helping them build lasting customer relationships, whether their employees are in the office or working remotely. And that value proposition has translated into rapid growth.
Metric
Q3 2020 (TTM)
Q3 2021 (TTM)
Change
Revenue
$20.3 billion
$25.0 billion
23%
Free cash flow
$3.6 billion
$5.5 billion
54%
Source: YCharts. TTM = trailing 12 months. Note: Q3 2022 ended Oct. 31, 2021.
Salesforce’s founder-led management team is a significant asset. Co-CEO Marc Benioff founded the company in 1999, and through a combination of innovation and acquisitions, he has kept Salesforce on the cutting edge of the CRM industry. To that end, 96% of employees approve of Benioff, and 89% would recommend Salesforce to a friend, according to Glassdoor. Both of those statistics are evidence of a great corporate culture.
That should be a continued growth driver in the years ahead, helping Salesforce capitalize on its massive market opportunity, which management values at $248 billion by 2025. In short, the company has an ironclad competitive position, great leadership, and a big addressable market. That’s a recipe for investor success.
Zscaler is a pioneer in cloud security. Its platform, called a secure access service edge (SASE), is designed to replace traditional corporate networks. Rather than routing web traffic through a central hub, clients lean on Zscaler’s network of over 150 global¬†data centers to enforce security policies, which makes it possible to quickly and safely access corporate resources from any device or location.
Specifically, Zscaler’s portfolio includes four products: Zscaler Internet Access and Zscaler Public Access, which allow clients to safely connect to both external and internal applications; and Zscaler Cloud Protection and Zscaler Digital Experience, which secure cloud workloads and help IT teams monitor the performance of networks, applications, and infrastructure.
Broadly speaking, by accelerating and securing corporate resources, Zscaler helps businesses provide employees with a high-quality user experience, whether they are in the office or working remotely. And because Zscaler delivers those services from the cloud, clients avoid the cost and commitment of managing the underlying hardware.
That value proposition is only becoming more compelling, as evidenced by Zscaler’s strong financial performance over the past year.
Metric
Q1 2021 (TTM)
Q1 2022 (TTM)
Change
Revenue
$480.3 million
$761.0 million
58%
Free cash flow
$60.3 million
$184.9 million
207%
Source: YCharts. TTM = trailing-12-months. Note: Q1 2022 ended Oct. 31, 2021.
Going forward, Zscaler has a good shot at maintaining that momentum. The company puts its addressable market at $72 billion, and the founder-led management team has already demonstrated its ability to expand the platform and grow the business. Moreover, 92% of employees would recommend the company to a friend, and 98% approve of the founder and CEO Jay Chaudhry, according to Glassdoor. Those impressive statistics suggest a strong corporate culture.
It’s noteworthy that Gartner has recognized Zscaler as the industry leader for the last 10 consecutive years, evidencing the company’s strong competitive position. Gartner also projects that 60% of organizations will have plans in place to adopt SASE networks by 2025, up from 10% in 2020. That tailwind should be a significant growth driver for Zscaler. That’s why this stock belongs in your portfolio.

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Stock Advisor launched in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/11/2021.
Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.
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